Sunday, March 31, 2013

You Can't Hug Captain Atom With Nuclear Arms!!

I don't want to suggest that Captain Atom in the 60s was a one-note character, but...well, judge for yourself.

In the first story in the issue, Gustav Borlin, the dictator of a "neutral but unfriendly" unnamed nation, is going to give us a new definiton of the term "neutral":

Well, that's all good. Now on to some real superhero action, eh?

The 2nd story in the issue begins:

Uh...OK...nuclear missiles again?

And where has all this uranium been going? Why, to the African nation without a single black person!

OK, OK, we get it...1961, time of nuclear angst, we get your point. Enough with the nukes--it's time for fighting super-villains!!

And our 3rd story...


Mysterious aliens, it seems, are using meteor swarms to knock our nuclear missiles out of orbit so Earth destroys itself...

(That's roughly Moscow, FYI...)

Wait...Sputniks, too? Everything in orbit? I guess in this universe, people had better not expect GPS, satellite television, Skylab, etc.

Anyway, Captain Atom destroys the (invisible!) aliens with one blast. The end.

Yes, all 3 of the stories were in one issue--Space Adventures #38 (1961), as reprinted in Space Adventures #10 (1978). No author is known, even though the art was all by Ditko, so I don't know if one gent was responsible for all three, or if it was a coincidence that all 3 tales are essentially exactly the same.

It is interesting to see that, at a time when super-hero comics were ignoring the contemporary geopolitical situation except in the most superficial ways, that Charlton was willing to wallow in the existential dread of nuclear extinction.

Still, you've got a superhero who can do virtually anything, and all you use him for is (repeatedly) running into orbit to shoot down nuclear missiles? Boring...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spoiler Saturday--If This Be Doomsday...

If you're compelled to put Doomsday into your Superman comic, this is probably the way to do it.

Oh, yeah!!

Superman Family Adventures is the best Superman title DC is publishing right now by a country mile--hell, it's the best super-hero title they're publishing PERIOD. And this week's #11? Sheer genius in 28 ways.

And next month is the last issue.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Night Fights--Newmatic Style!!

Tonight's Friday Night Fights is brought to you by...SCIENCE!!!!! Both old science and new science, earth science and alien science!!

Jennifer Hale is a mime/aspiring magician/part-time museum worker in Los Angeles, and she uncovers a crate containing the parts of....

Mr. Hero!!!

Who he??

Well, Mr. Hero is a Victorian steam-powered automaton boxer.

He is also secretly an alien-created high tech sleeper agent  planted here to take over Earth when the time is right.

Don't ask me--it's Neil Gaiman's fault!!

Anyhoo, Jennifer has reassembled Mr. Hero, but some secret alien ninjas are trying to stop her, and scoop up the tech. So...

Take that, Rotters!!!

Spacebooger hopes that Neil Gaiman invested the money wisely that he got for selling this idea to a soon to be defunct comic company.

James Vance, Ted Slampyak and Bob McLeod present a story "based on a concept created by Neil Gaiman," in Neil Gaiman's Mr. Hero--The Newmatic Man #1 (1995). Yes, that's the comic's full title. Kind of embarrassing. But maybe he can come back along with Angela in Age Of Days Of Future Ultron Past #10!!

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight!! Why? Well, as you can see above, I'm getting kind of snarky. So vote, or I might get worse!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dr. Mortal Is No Dr. Togg, Let Me Tell You!!

Yes, it's time once again for the adventures of the villain with the worst name ever:

Our set-up is the exact same as EVERY Dr. Mortal story:

And what are his plans?

Steam cabinet? And where exactly do you get lion entrails? Costco?

And the result?


Now, as Golden Age Science-created monsters go, these are no gombezi. But on the first low-tech missions, they seem to get the job done...

Now, Mortal's niece, Marlene, and her lovable hunk of a boyfriend Gary are always the ones to stop Mortal. And while this is only their second story, they already seem quite blasé about her uncle's crimes against nature:

What he'll do next is kick your asses!!

The lion-man is probably thinking to himself evil, sexist thoughts regarding Marlene's weight...

[Random thought: If Marlene is Dr. Mortal's niece, it's possible she shares the same last name, and so is named Marlene Mortal...]

Anyway, the local villagers have had enough!!

Yes, it's an actual villagers wielding pitchforks scene!!

Well, if they want a fight, by gum, Dr. Mortal will give them a fight!

The battle is on!!

Fortunately for the world...

So those lion men definitely aren't as good as the gombezi. If they couldn't even stand up to a mob of farmers, they really weren't ready for prime time, were they?

After a convenient lab fire, our punchline is the same as every Dr. Mortal story...

Yup. Dead, all right. Nope, not coming back. Ever. We definitely won't see him return every issue, nosirree!

From Weird Comics #2 (1940)